Beijing, Budapest carry ties forward

2024-05-10 08:22:35China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, walk on a red carpet with Hungarian President Tamas Sulyok and his wife, Zsuzsanna Nagy, on Thursday at a welcoming ceremony at Buda Castle in Budapest. (FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY)

President Xi Jinping said on Thursday that the China-Hungary relationship is now at its best in history, and he called on the two sides to summarize the valuable experience of the past and continue deepening practical cooperation in various sectors.

The two countries decided to elevate bilateral relations to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era.

Xi, who had just concluded state visits to France and Serbia, held talks on Thursday with Hungarian President Tamas Sulyok and Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest, capital of Hungary, on the third leg of his six-day European trip.

Calling Sulyok "an experienced statesman and a legal expert", Xi said he appreciates the Hungarian president's long-standing dedication to growing the China-Hungary friendship and his positive contribution to development of bilateral ties.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1949, China and Hungary have always respected each other, treated each other as equals and pursued mutual benefit.

Last year, China was Hungary's largest source of foreign investment, as well as its largest trading partner outside the European Union.

As the first European country to sign a cooperation agreement with China on the Belt and Road Initiative, Hungary has been a distribution center for China-Europe freight trains and a crucial link in the logistics transportation corridor between China and Europe over the past decade.

Xi stressed the importance of summarizing the valuable experience of the past 75 years, which has ensured the steady development of bilateral ties.

The Chinese president also said that China welcomes Hungarian friends to board the express train of Chinese modernization and better align it with Hungary's Eastern Opening policy.

China will continue to work with Hungary to guide the correct direction for the joint building of the Belt and Road as well as the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries, he said.

Xi also said it is hoped that Hungary, which is set to take over the rotating EU presidency in July, will seize the opportunity to promote the stable and healthy development of China-EU relations.

Sulyok, who jointly received Xi with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at a welcoming ceremony on Thursday morning, hailed the positive results of bilateral cooperation in various fields since the two countries established a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2017.

Hungary has greatly benefited through cooperation with China in areas such as infrastructure connectivity under the BRI, he said.

Sulyok said his country highly appreciates the Global Development Initiative and other initiatives proposed by the Chinese president, as they are crucial for addressing various challenges facing the world today and for preventing bloc confrontation by advocating for dialogue and cooperation.

Noting that it is an established policy of Hungary to strengthen cooperation with China, Sulyok said the Central European country looks forward to promoting key cooperation projects such as the Hungary-Serbia Railway to deliver more benefits to the people.


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